In Sutton, there is much for us to be proud of both as a council and as a borough. This includes high levels of resident satisfaction, the quality of our services, our success in addressing our financial challenges to date, the way that we involve and engage with residents on key issues facing the borough, and the enthusiastic and motivated staff that we employ.
Looking ahead, there are plans for the delivery of new homes and new schools and the London Cancer Hub is being developed, while the Council is also seen as a driving force within the South London Partnership of five outer south west London boroughs focused on strategic growth, regeneration and investment.
All of this demonstrates a good track record and an authority that is ambitious and set to deliver more improvements for the borough. We've set out our vision for the future of Sutton in our corporate plan - Ambitious for Sutton. This strategic plan will shape the outcomes we achieve, the services we provide, and the impact we have on residents, to make Sutton a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Situated in Zone 5, Sutton is less than 30 minutes by train from central London, and south and south west London are easily accessible by public transport. There are 10 train stations which serve key neighbourhoods within the borough providing direct connections to London Victoria, London Bridge, London Blackfriars and St Pancras International. Sutton also has direct rail connections with Epsom, Dorking, Guildford and Horsham, as well as Wimbledon for an interchange with the London Underground and West Croydon for the London Overground. There’s also an extensive road network which provides close and easy access to the M25 and M23.
About the Role
This is an exciting career development opportunity for someone with experience in DM and the enthusiasm to move into a management role in the future.
The role includes:
- Dealing with a caseload of major strategic cases, pre-application work and appeals
- Deputising for the Area Planning Manager by allocating, checking and signing off applications under their Delegated Authority
- Presenting at Planning Committee
- Mentoring and developing junior staff
- Contributing towards Service Improvements and developing policy documents
The Development Management team comprises two Area teams and an enforcement team supported by a business support and technical support team. Each area team comprises 5 members of staff and you would report to the Area Planning Manager. Our approach is one of enabling development and early pre-application engagement to achieve good outcomes. The team regularly deals with all more than 90% of types of applications within statutory periods and we have a strong performance management ethic aligned to staff development through our annual appraisal process. The team was piloted to develop a Team Charter for how we will work well through the challenges presented by covid and there is a strong sense of togetherness and collaborative working. We work very closely with our Strategic Planning and Building Control Teams which all fall under the management responsibilities of the Head of Service, and there are opportunities for collaborating on policy development.
To be successful in this role you will have:
- An appropriate degree or equivalent qualification accredited by the RTPI, as giving eligibility for membership of the RTPI and post qualification experience of development management at a senior level.
- Proven experience in negotiating successful outcomes on major and strategic planning applications.
- Proven knowledge and understanding of planning legislation, policy and procedures in the relation to development management.
- Proven ability to write clear, concise and accurate reports on complex applications and be able to make clear recommendations under delegated business and Committee cases.
- Proven ability to communicate clearly and courteously to a wide range of audiences both orally and in writing and to be able to deal confidently with members of the public, Councillors, applicants and their agents.
- Ability to present cases at Planning Committee and at appeal through the written representation, informal hearings and public inquiry procedures.
- Good political awareness.
- Previous experience of managing and mentoring staff in a Development Management team.
- Ideally experience in making and agreeing decisions under delegated authority.
- Ability to manage and prioritise the team’s workload in order to meet deadlines with minimum supervision.
Our Offer To You
As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential and will offer you a supportive, friendly and collaborative environment to grow and develop your career and skills. We’re constantly striving to improve our ways of working so putting your ideas across - however big or small - will be fully encouraged and supported by your colleagues and our dynamic and experienced management team.
In addition, we offer a modern and flexible working environment for our staff, supported by our IT infrastructure, including Google Chromebooks and Google Apps.
Employees have access to a wide range of benefits, some of which include:
- Generous annual leave entitlement plus bank holidays (pro-rata if part-time working hours apply)
- Flexi-time (Please note, this applies to roles at grades 1-9 only)
- Comprehensive learning and development programme
- Local and national discounts for shopping, eating out and leisure activities
- Interest free season ticket loans
- Local Government Pension Scheme
- Car parking scheme
- Bicycle loan facilities and cycle to work scheme
- Zip car scheme
- Free eye tests and contribution towards glasses
- Confidential wellbeing and counselling support
- Subsidised gym membership
Please apply online outlining what skills, abilities and experience you can bring which makes you an ideal candidate for this role. Please ensure you refer to the requirements outlined in the job profile when completing your application.
To support our diversity agenda and reduce the risk of bias in our recruitment activities, our short listing process completely anonymises personal information that can identify job applicants e.g. name, title etc. Our hiring managers review and short list applications based on the information provided as part of your application as to how well you meet the requirements and criteria for the role, as outlined in the job profile.
The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
We pride ourselves on being a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Borough and we aim to create a workforce which reflects the community we serve. We are respectful of difference and realise the positive value of diversity in our workforce. We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds and particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates and disabled candidates, as these groups are currently under-represented in our workforce. As part of our Disability Confident Committed status, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum/essential criteria for the role.
We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, and inclusive staff networks who help drive our diversity agenda.
The UK has introduced a new points-based immigration system affecting EU and Non-EU workers and sponsorship requirements. We advise checking the GOV.UK website for right to work guidance.
Please note that these dates are only indicative at this stage and could be subject to change. Due to the ongoing situation, interviews for short listed candidates will take place virtually through video technology for the foreseeable future.
The majority of staff will also continue to work from home, where possible, in line with Government Guidance.